Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for protection and reclamation of wetlands to mitigate effects of climate change.A wetland is an area saturated by water on a temporary or permanent basis.
Mr Harry Junior, NCF’s Project Coordinator, Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, noted that wetland played a pivotal role in the ecosystem, serving as biodiversity hotspot and a habitat for aquatic fauna and flora.
“It is also home to numerous species of birds, including migratory species.
“Wetlands play a crucial role in water security and also provide a barrier against natural disasters such as flooding.
“Wetlands prevent soil erosion. They act as carbon stores, and form one of the most important sinks for greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide,” he said.
The coordinator said NCF had on Feb. 3 collaborated with Federal Ministry of Environment to commemorate the 2022 World Wetlands Day in Jigawa, as part of awareness creation campaign.
He said the event held at Baturiya Wetland with the theme: “Wetlands action for people and nature” was aimed at promoting conservation of wetlands and their sustainable use.
According to him, Nigeria has 11 wetlands of international importance, covering a total area of about 1,076,728 hectares.
The Coordinator listed the sites to include Lake Chad Wetlands in Borno; Dagona Sanctuary Lake, Yobe; Hadejia-Nguru Lake, Jigawa and Yobe as well as Maladumba Lake in Bauchi.Others were Foge Islands, Kebbi; Apoi Creek Forests, Bayelsa; Padam and Wase Lakes, Plateau, Upper Orashi Forests, Rivers; Oguta Lake, Imo and Lower Kaduna-Middle Niger Floodplain in Niger State.
According to him, the Niger-Delta wetland is the largest in Africa and the third largest mangrove forest in the world.